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tv   Nightline  ABC  November 15, 2012 11:35pm-12:00am EST

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but only for a limited time. tonight on "nightline," tensions reaching a boiling point in the middle east. rockets crisscrossing the skies, the death toll climbing. and tonight, growing fear of all-out war between the israelis and palestinians. abc's christiane amanpour reports from the conflict. and, baby wanted. families on a journey to adopt a child, on the same website that lists used cars, cell phones and sofas. inside the rise of do it yourself craigslist adoption. plus, man versus monster. >> ah! >> our team travels to the deepest wilds of the amazon with an adventurer on a mission.
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to unearth the planet's most mysterious predators. >> announcer: from the global resources of abc news, with terry moran, cynthia mcfadden and bill weir in new york city, this is "nightline," november 15th, 2012. >> good evening, i'm cynthia mcfadden. tonight, we go on the air, intensifying missile attacks are pounding the gaza strip. part of an escalating conflict that has the world holding its breath, fearing a new war in the middle east could erupt at any moment. tensions between the israelis and palestinians are threatening to boil over, in a region still destabilized from the arab spring. abc's christiane amanpour reports from a middle east on the brink. christiane? >> reporter: cynthia, tonight, i can tell, you jerusalem where i am is extremely tense. here and around the world, everyone is watching to see who will make the next move in this increasingly deadly game of chess in the holy land.
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the last time there was this kind of violence was four years ago when israel conducted an air and ground invasion of gaza, it lasted three weeks and left more than 1,000 people dead. after days of tit for tat attacks between israelis and palestinians, the israeli military stepped up, launching what they call operation pillar of defense. its first target was a military chief for hamas. the islamic political party that governs the gaza strip, which israel and the west call a terrorist organization. the israeli defense forces proudly hailed his assassination, releasing this poster. but his death was just the beginning. five of the palestinians killed so far were children, including this 11-month-old baby, held in the arms of his father, a local journalist for the bbc, who asked, "what did my son do to die like this?"
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this morning, ah ha has leader vowed revenge, telling reporters, "israel started this war, but they will never know its end. our rockets will hit tel aviv. we have a plan in place and they will regret what they did." and hamas made good on that threat, launching a rocket attack on tel aviv, israel's largest city, where residents crouched in fear. tonight, israeli troops were seen making their way to the gaza border. a grim indication that a ground war may be next. this battle, which is playing out against the background of an impending election in israel, is the worst fighting the region has seen in years. the last time rockets threatened tel aviv was during the 1991 gulf war, when saddam hussein's missiles hit the city. and tonight, tensions inside gaza remain high as my colleague, alex marquardt, found out. >> reporter: the cloud of an israeli missile strike met us as
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we arrived in gaza at sunset. it is eerily quiet here. this is definitely the quietest i've seen it. very few people in the streets. all the homes and shops are closed up. everyone seems to be hunkered down inside. for good reason. israel so far has targeted 300 sites in gaza. missiles rained down with loud thuds if they're far away. deafening booms if they're close. this is what the aftermath of one of these strikes looks like. a massive crater filled with cinderblock and rebar, the strong smell of diesel fuel. several of the houses around were damaged very badly. and the residents here on this street say they hope hamas will keep firing rockets into israel in retaliation. a crowd of men was gathered outside one of the houses. we met this 30-year-old, who said the strike felt like an earthquake. "they're targeting civilians and kinds," he calling on
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hamas and other groups to hit hard. >> reporter: back in washington, president obama has been making calls to the middle east. >> i want to express my thanks to president obama. >> reporter: here, in israel, the government has taken this battle to social media. its official twitter field has blasted out threats to hamas. it warned yesterday that no hamas operatives, whether low level or senior leaders, show their faces above ground in the days ahead. hamas fired back with this tweet, "our blessed hands will reach your leader and soldiers wherever they are. you opened hell gaeflts on yourselves." just days after winning re-election, the president is now faced with a widened conflict that has the potential to destabilize an already unstable region. >> i think the number one worry at the white house today was containment. they want to contain this crisis, because they can imagine
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scenarios where it gets much more out of control than it has already. >> reporter: this is the first israel/palestinian conflict of the new middle east. the arab spring has raised all sorts of new questions for the united states. for instance, its friend egypt used to be able to keep the peace in this region. will egypt's new islamist president do the same? and, of course, the arab spring means the governments are much more answerable to their own people. here in the region, everyone is hoping this is over quickly. no one can afford a wider war. >> thank you, christiane amanpour reporting. as of tonight, the death toll stands at at least 19 palestinians dead and 3 israelis. just ahead, we're going to change gears to meet the parents and adopted children united in an unlikely place. craigslist. anncr: some politicians seem to think medicare and...
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>> announcer: "nightline" continues from new york city with cynthia mcfadden. >> adoption can be a beautiful thing. bringing together babies who need parents with parents who are desperate for children. about 50,000 children are adopted into new families by american parents every year. i was once one of them. but now comes a highly unusual new way to make a match. craigslist. that's right. a place where people buy and sell their old stuff, that marketplace is now facilitating adoptions. good idea? we asked abc's reena ninan to take a look. >> reporter: what you're about to see is a most unusual family reunion. >> hi! >> reporter: 2-year-old ben welcoming his biological mother into his home for the very first time. his adopted family right behind him.
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>> hi! >> reporter: an extraordinary journey for all of them. tammy, the girl from the wrong side of the tracks, who gave ben up. tracy, the suburban mom who took him in. perhaps most stunning, though, is how they found each other. what do you say when you tell people, i found my baby on craigslist? >> yeah, well, i try to phrase it a little differently, but people do sort of give us a look. like, on craigslist? >> reporter: yes, on craigslist. the world's most famous online marketplace. the site where you can find anything. even a child these days. adoptive parents across the country are taking the controversial step of connecting direct it will with potential birth mothers. all with just the click of a button. >> craigslist put the power back in parents and birth moms hands. >> reporter: yahoo! reporter piper weiss has been investigating the world of private adoption online. but it also forces both of them to be their own filter and to be
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kind of their own expert in the matter and that takes a lot of -- there's a lot of risk and reward to that. >> reporter: megan and steve in buffalo new york learned it the hard way. after successfully adopting aiden, they wanted to give him a brother or a sister. so, they started advertising online. they were contacted by a woman claiming to be pregnant. >> i thought it was -- it was a little bit sketchy, because we'd get a new phone call and it would be like, you know what, we really need that $50 for gas and by the way, i'm going to need that weekly. >> when somebody is pushing money, money, i need it yesterday, it's instabtly a concern. >> reporter: megan and steve's adoption coordinator googled the woman's name, kimberly, only to discover she had been convicted of sending bad checks, identity theft and burglary. >> reporte do you get discouraged? >> all the time. there's great days and then there's not great days. and the thing that keeps you going is knowing that it had to
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happen. and it will. >> reporter: tracy and dan had the same optimism during their search for a child. they tried everything. they designed their own website. even plastered their car with this ad. >> you don't wait for a job, you look for a job. why would you wait for a baby? >> reporter: after spending so much time, energy and money, nothing seemed to work. they decided to try something different. did you think it's a little crazy, though? i'm going to search for our future baby online on craigslist. >> well, we met online. so, if i were going to look up a word in the dictionary, i wouldn't go to my bookshelf and open up my dictionary. you just turn to the internet. >> the second i read their ad, i called there. hi, i'm pregnant. and i need help and she was like, we're really happy you called. >> reporter: tammy nelson was stuck in a nightmare. financially dependent on her abusive husband and already raising one son, rider. >> i remember one time, feeding
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my son the dust out of the rice krispie box. the last bowl of cereal we had and i didn't know where the next meal was going to come from. >> reporter: but her nightmare got worse when she says her husband forced her to get pregnant again. >> you hate yourself a lot for it, because you feel like you should just have a connection with something that's naturally inside you. i felt guilty that i never had that connection. >> reporter: for tammy, abortion wasn't an option. giving up the child was the right and only thing to do. >> what do you think? >> ten fingers, ten toes. >> reporter: what was it like the first time you went and saw ben? >> she wanted me in the room while he was born, so, they put him right in my arms, so -- >> reporter: what was that like? >> amazing. >> reporter: two years have passed. tammy started rebuilding her life with a new partner, now fiance patrick. >> boom! >> reporter: she's been watching ben grow up through facebook
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updates. >> it is hard seeing ben be able to do stuff that i was never able to afford for my first son. >> reporter: like what? >> like gymnastics. i think every parent wants the best that they can do for their kid. i'm happy that ben has it, but it also kind of shows my inadequacies with my own son. >> reporter: there's been very little direct contact. she's seen ben only once since he was born. >> he's so young. he doesn't really know what's going on. just kind of an awkward situation, i guess, for everybody. >> reporter: this past week, tracy and dan invited tammy over for a long anticipated visit to their home. >> is that theirs? >> this is the house. >> oh, my gosh. >> hi! >> reporter: the reunion is
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awkward. ben is more interested in our cameras than his birth mom. >> hey, ben. >> that. >> you like the right? >> reporter: but the awkwardness pales in comparison to the overwhelming feeling tracy and tammy both have. gratitude. >> we just can't thank you enough for everything. everything. such a great experience and he is so fantastic. >> you're everything i expected in a mom for ben and -- >> thank you. >> reporter: i'm reena ninan for "nightline" in minneapolis. >> and our thanks to reena ninan. a special thanks, too, to yahoo! shine who partnered w with us o this report. now, just ahead, our team heads deep into the amazon jungle to help track down some of nature's most terrifying beasts. [ male announcer ] how can power consumption in china,
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they're the stuff of horror movies and urban legend. the most terrifying creatures mother nature has to offer. and one adventurer has made them his life's work. here's abc's matt gutman. >> reporter: blood thirsty beasts that feed on human flesh. aquatic assassins that drag swimmers to their deaths. myths, you might say, but sometimes truth stranger than fiction. that's where richard comes in, the swash buckling filmmaker, survivalist and hair product pitchman. okay, maybe not the last one, but he could be. richard is the host of nat geo's "man versus monster." he travels the globe to unravel the mysteries behind the myths. >> it's a great reason to help find out the truth. to hear their stories and try to work out what's been frightening them. >> reporter: he will do whatever it takes to get to the bottom of these legends.
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>> and these adventures are very real and rough and ready. >> reporter: richard is going to show me what it takes to survive a night in the monster capital of the world. amazon. last year, he was here investigating a scaled creature that attacked this young boy, tiago. >> he was fishing using nets. he had a splash and he was cheque his net. as he was looking to see what it was, he was attacked from the water. >> reporter: he didn't see the animal, but whatever it was, it left its bite mark. an important clue, as richard began his investigation. >> i can see it in the net now. >> reporter: he's got his first suspect, the world's largest fresh water fish, weighing in at 400 pounds. could this be the culprit? >> doesn't have a mouth big enough for the bite marks i saw. >> reporter: meanwhile, on our own monster quest, we find plenty. although, admittedly of the miniature variety. >> look at the side of that. >> reporter: my god. which deliver what's said to be
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the world's most painful insect bite. and fish catcher spiders. >> they're all over the place. >> reporter: but the worst, this cloud of unidentified flying bugs that seem to follow us everywhere. and especially my producer. >> they're in my esophagus somewhere. >> reporter: to survive, you need to eat, so, we head back to the water to catch our dinner. when suddenly, we notice red eyes glowing a few feet away. before we know it, samuel has grabbed the little monster and hauled it back on the boat. it's a relative of the crocodile. locals eat young animals like this one. adults have been known to eat the locals. >> look at the size of its head there. it's so distinctive, the black armor. this is a black cayman. this is a serious contender to be the creature that's been attacking people. closest i've got yet but it's just not long enough to match
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what people have been describing. >> reporter: richard's search for the real monster will have to continue. but in the meantime, my attempt to survive a night in the jungle now hinges on samuel's ability to catch our dinner. >> no. >> reporter: no, he didn't. there's dinner. oh. a monstans master monster hunte. it's time to leave the jungle life to the pros. you know when they say. when the going gets tough, the tough find the nearest barbecue joint. i'm matt gutman for "nightline" in the a.m.son. >> thanks, matt. "man versus monster" airs fridays. finally tonight, a developing story in midland, texas. this evening, an 18-wheeler parade float carrying wounded veterans was struck by an oncoming train, killing four and wounding 17. as of now, one person remains in critical condition. "gma" will have the latest in the morning.
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